Dysfunctional teams exhibit pathologies that harm themselves, their purpose, or the organization.

There are many types:

  • Not shipping: Are tools or processes causing bottlenecks?
  • Drama: Gossip and dwelling on negative experiences will fester if left untreated. Employees may need some moving around if stemming from unhappiness. Just talking about the harm of this behavior may be enough, though.
  • Overwork: Slow down the roadmap. Focus more on sustainability engineering. Play cheerleader, help out, show appreciation however possible during tough pushes.
  • Collaboration: Discuss, gather feedback about opportunities. Cultivate unity.


  1. Camille Fournier, The Manager’s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change, ed. Laurel Ruma, First Edition (Beijing: O’Reilly, 2017). (See notes.)